EU to look for solution to Kaliningrad problem

The European Union will look for an "acceptable settlement" of the problem of the Kaliningrad Region (Russian enclave in the country's West), but within its "rules and norms," said Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union. He was speaking in Brussels last Tuesday at a special press-conference devoted to the EU summit in Seville.

Pique said that among the other issues the European leaders will discuss at the June 21-22 forum, they will also deal with the future status of the Kaliningrad region. The minister admitted that the problem of the Kaliningrad region is a "sensitive" one for Russia and the neighbouring countries, which are concerned about the movement and transit of cargoes and people between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of Russia. However, he said "there won't be any exceptions," since the European Union should act within the framework of the Schengen agreement.

Pique recalled that at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Luxemburg the committee of permanent representatives of the EU and the European Commission were instructed to continue making efforts in looking for an "acceptable solution," with due account for the norms regulating the European Union's life.

Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin of Russia declared at the Council of Baltic States in St.Petersburg that it would be impossible to settle the problem of the Kaliningrad region by closing the borders.

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